Director, Itinerary Planning

Title Director, Itinerary Planning
Category Corporate
Job Information

Responsible for creating, managing and coordinating the vessel’s worldwide itineraries. The role is critical to Destination Services, Operations and Sales & Marketing and works in collaboration within these groups to provide culturally rewarding and diverse itineraries always exceeding Resident and Guest satisfaction.

Responsible for liaising and negotiating with industry contacts, resources and organizations as it relates to the ship’s ports of call and itinerary. Be the Industry face of the company for all destination and itinerary related matters.


  • The Director of Itinerary Planning reports directly to CEO for Itinerary Planning and works closely with the on board Captains and Itinerary Committee during the pre-planning itinerary process and after the itinerary is approved and complete
  • The position is responsible to research, manage all aspects of the ship’s ports of call and itineraries
  • Supervises the Manager of Port Operations and all functions related to this position
  • Responsible to research and develop regions and ports for a draft itinerary at least 3 years in advance by working closely with the Captains, Resident Itinerary Planning Committee, Senior Management and Operations
  • Creates a comprehensive planning initiative/timeline including cost implications for developing the summary itinerary to be approved (2 years in advance) and the day by day itinerary (1 year in advance)
  • Leads, manages and delivers the entire itinerary process two years in advance
  • Responsible to create Expeditions and Explorations itineraries and collaborate with Operations to ensure successful execution
  • Responsible to deliver itinerary and other related presentations to the Resident community
  • Visits the ship regularly and when both Captains are on board to plan itineraries
  • Works closely with the Destination Services team to maximize Resident and Guest Destination and Programming opportunities
  • Ensures the most cohesive itinerary for Resident & Guest logistics
  • Works closely with the Supply Chain Department to ensure itinerary considers appropriate ports of call for loading of goods
  • Ensures itinerary is designed to comply with ship’s immigration / customs and legal obligations (cabotage)
  • Negotiates with local authorities to leverage the best location and conditions for the vessel’s call
  • Through the Manager of Port operations, ensures that the Clearance Officer has all the necessary information pertaining to the ship’s call, i.e, garbage, bunkering, water, off loads, customs and immigration arrangements
  • Takes the lead on unforeseen itinerary changes, quickly evaluates alternatives and presents options to all relevant parties
  • Communicates itinerary changes and itinerary information effectively to all relevant parties
  • Manages all Port Operator/agency relationships
  • Builds relationships within regions on every level to include tourism and government officials
  • Attends industry-related conventions, trade shows, maintains strong destination industry contacts
  • Visits the ship to conduct itinerary workshops with the Itinerary Committee and Residents
  • Listens and responds to Resident’s feedback on itinerary and ports of call
  • ‘Go To’ person for all itinerary related matters
  • Responsible to research and scout new ports for The World’s future calls
  • Ensures that the company’s strategic plan is followed in all aspects related to Itinerary Planning
  • Continuously reviews the operation and make recommendations on how to enhance the product
  • Must be able to provide strong analytical data as it relates to Itinerary & Destination
  • Implements new policies, standard operating procedures and Company initiatives as assigned
  • Ensures direct reports have continuous and defined set of goals
  • Continues own education by staying abreast of trends and sharing this information with the team
  • Key leader in the annual budget process as it relates to Itineraries
  • Works with the Finance Department to develop a preliminary budget for future itineraries
  • Budget responsibility of appx $5 Million related to Port Operations and all itinerary related expenses
  • Ensures port agents are continuously reviewed and selected based on service standards, operational needs and budgetary guidelines
  • Ensures annual competitive bids and comparative analysis are being performed for all port agent services by the Manager, Port Operations
  • Ensures that port agent DA’s are accurate, processed and audited in a timely manner by the Manager, Port Operations
  • Ability to work long hours, day and night, including weekends and holidays when needed, must be able to travel 30 to 40% of the year
  • This position has emergency response duties as defined in the Emergency Manual


  • BA/BS 4 year degree or foreign equivalency and/or a minimum of ten years experience working in international shipping or cruise line and or international Tour/Travel/Port Operations
  • Minimum of ten years experience working in international shipping or cruise line and/or International Tour/Travel Operations
  • Solid experience with itinerary planning, process and delivery
  • Experience in managing teams and coaching and mentoring staff
  • Experience and confidence with public speaking and delivering presentations
  • Must be comfortable with Resident and Itinerary committee interaction
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, ability to clearly and concisely present technical subjects
  • Five-star/luxury cruise line, expedition knowledge and Marine Operations experience a plus
  • Vast knowledge of local regulations pertaining to a vessel’s call including worldwide cabotage and other restrictions
  • Strong world-wide geographical knowledge
  • Established contacts with port agents, world-wide industry contacts
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task under high pressure & demanding situations
  • Excellent research skills, detail oriented
  • Outgoing personality with ability to promote “The World” and generate enthusiasm amongst the community for the itinerary, expeditions, explorations and ports of call
  • Proficient in MS office to include, Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook
  • Strong budgetary, projections, and cost control skills and ability to produce consistent financial results


  •  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is required to walk; use hands to handle or operate computers, office equipment, objects, tools or controls; and be able to raise objects from a lower to a higher position or move objects horizontally from position-to-position.
  • The employee must be able to exert up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close visual acuity to perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; viewing a computer terminal; and extensive reading.
  • Works primarily in an office environment. Will be expected to travel as needed.
  • The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


*** Above noted job description is not intended to describe, in detail, the multitude of tasks that may be assigned but rather to give the associate a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of his/her position. As the nature of business demands change, so may the essential functions of this position ***
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